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South African channel giant sees massive profit growth

Another bumper year for acquisitive Datatec

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Datatec saw profits rise 159 per cent thanks to "staying nimble" and an aggressive acquisition strategy. The South African group posted profit of R196 million (£19.6 million), on sales of R5.6 billion (£561 billion), compared to R2.6 billion (£260 billion). More than 90 per cent of the technology and services company's profit was generated outside South Africa, mainly in the US and Europe. Datatec has spent the last two years buying foreign firms to expand its world presence. Its existing cache of UK companies includes Logical Networks, Blueprint and Network SI. It has bought eight companies in the past six months in Singapore, Australia, Switzerland and Germany. It also announced the £19 million acquisition of 75 per cent of UK-based Mason Group, a telecommunications consultancy. More acquisitions are in the pipeline, said Jens Montanana, Datatec founder and executive chairman. "We will continue to expand and position more and more of our business abroad." "Results have been driven mainly by organic growth, generated by businesses that existed before this operating period," he said. He put the secret of the company's success down to: "staying nimble as a services company, tapping into areas that grow at above average rates". Datatec also said it would float its US subsidiary Westcom, a networking distributor, in next year's first quarter. It plans to use the cash raised to fund more acquisitions in the same area. ®

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